Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

February 25, 2014

STC members discuss delinquent utility bills

Diane Raver The Herald-Tribune
The Batesville Herald-Tribune

---- — SUNMAN – Two Sunman utility customers, who are delinquent in paying their bills, were on the Feb. 20 Sunman Town Council agenda. One attended the meeting. The other did not.

Robert Carpenter said, “I’m out of work ... (and) have been under workers’ compensation” after being hurt on his previous job. The Southeastern Indiana Economic Opportunity Corp. and township trustee Ed Gindling “helped with my rent.”

Town attorney Amy Streator asked, “What are you asking us to do?”

He said, “I need my water, but I’m just not able to work.”

Member Harvey Dobson noted, “He wants to keep from getting cut off and says he will pay the bill when he gets his tax refund.”

Clerk-treasurer Chelsea Eckstein revealed, “We sent a shut-off notice in January, and then he made a partial payment” of $67. Currently, he is $343 behind.

Streator pointed out, “It’s his bill to pay .... From a legal standpoint, you guys have a right to turn him off, but you’re setting a precedent here. In this particular case, he has been making payments ... and he came before the board, and he needs a little credit for that.”

President Wayne Jenner told Carpenter, “We would like some attempt at payment between now and the next meeting,” March 20.

The attorney added, “If you get your tax check, pay your bill off in full. If not, we’ll remember.”

Michelle McBride, Sunman Trailer Park owner, is also in arrears. Streator recalled, “There was a threat of a lawsuit three or four years ago” when she was six months behind in her payments.

Eckstein reported, “I talked to her today, and she said she couldn’t afford to pay the bill.”

Utility manager Terry Knueven said, “Their whole system is in shambles .... They’re never going to get ahead of the game until they redo the whole thing .... Right now, their water is off because the manager requested us to turn it off because” there was a huge leak.

Before anything else can be done, including turning the water off permanently, Streator said, “You have to give her a disconnect notice, according to the ordinance.”

Diane Raver can be contacted at diane.raver@batesvilleheraldtribune.com or 812-934-4343, Ext. 114.

Other news • Steve Ruble, Strand Associates Inc., Columbus, engineer, updated members on plans to demolish the former Ripley-Ohio-Dearborn Special Education Cooperative building, 323 N. Meridian St. He showed the latest draft of the construction plans and said, "We've been working diligently on the project ... Our tentative schedule is to be prepared at the next meeting to put out an advertisement for bids."